"...even though it will be some time before we see actual games taking advantage of all the features of this new GPU."
You will have plenty of time to save,as GPU's have been outdoing the games writers for a while.
I have used a TNT32,GF2MX,Ti4600(no name)Ti4800(8X AGP)in previous puters,and upgraded the graphics card for each successive upgraded puter.AMD 550Mhz CPU,with TNT32/AMD 1Ghz Duron,with GF2MX/AMD Athlon 1.3,XP1800,with Ti4600/XP2600(OC'ed)with Ti4800,and ran my latest game(NFS Underground)at full monty settings(previously I was only after good graphics for "Insane")and it would seem that puters users have no real need for faster than 2Ghz CPU's and an 8X GPU for presently available software,as performance gains after these levels are reached is no longer noticable.If I am doing any real intensive tasks(rendering video,etc)it still takes hours so I usually bogoff to bed,or use my older machine if I want to use my main puter during these periods.
These new cards appear to occupy 2 PCI slots(if so)this is likely where the "PCI Express x16" gets its "on paper" figures from,and why you need a 480W PSU(although with XP2600/1GB DDR/Ti4800 I have had two 400W PSU's croak under the strain ;-) of powering them)Mobo's have been available with twin CPU's for ages,if 2 PCI slots are used,the card is "wired" in a similar fashion(except the GPU is singular,receiving twinned data streams)
The card doesn't use two PCi slots, it uses one AGP port, but since the heatsink and fan is so big, it prohibits the use of the PCi slot next to the AGP port. Even if you did use two PCI slots, you would still not achieve anywhere near the speeds of PCI Express is capable of. PCI slots only communicate to the CPU at 33MB/s, PCI express starts at a minimum of 250MB/s, and that is only for a single lane. PCI express graphics cards will have bandwith around the 8GB/s mark (4GB/s in each direction).
And i have to ask, why did you 'upgrade' from a Ti4600 to a Ti4800 ? It is the same card, just with AGP 8x, which makes virtually no difference to performance.
"...why did you 'upgrade' from a Ti4600 to a Ti4800"
The Ti4600 was an unbranded card,its performance was poor(I overclocked the GF2 and got better results)The Ti4800 was going cheap,and its performance is ballistic,beating the Ti4600(in 3D Mark)by over 6000 points.My Ti4600 stutters/crashes with DX9.
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